Crows Zero takes place in a High School. Instead of stupid pranks or getting stuffed in a garbage can or trying to make the best grades or trying to get a varsity letter, it all comes down to how well you can brawl. Although the main character’s run at the top is the primary story, there’s a few side-stories involving peripheral characters that keep the movie from being 2-dimensional and shallow. Oh, and did I mention this is a Miike movie? Being a Takashi Miike film, it’s gonna be more than a fistfight. Crows Zero is a film with a plot that offers little surprises but what made this film special is its strong energy in its momentum and over-the-top entertainment value.
There are no teachers in this film and the cops barely made an appearance, clearly, this is not a film to be taken seriously. The movie does have a lot of stuff that will appeal to the adolescent male, the target audience, the problem is that it should leave everyone else feeling a bit cold. The anime and manga crowd should also dig the film as it definitely keeps its feel as a manga-made-real.
Being an adaptation of a Japanese comic book, Crows Zero offers some of the most entertaining fight scenes I’ve seen in awhile and the soundtrack is awesome. However, just because this film begs not to be taken seriously, doesn’t mean I can ignore the shortcomings. There is a Yakuza angle that is never really explored or tied in coherently. The number of loose, underdeveloped subplots is astonishing. Last but not least, the English voice-overs are atrocious; I’d much rather just have subtitles. Everythign else sums up a fun time at the movies. You’ll be dropped dead center in one of the toughest schools in the country, Suzuran, which is over run with gangs and violence.
No one has ever conquered it, but Genji plans to change that. His father promised him control of the family syndicate if he has what it takes to take over Suzuran. The task won’t be easy, Genji must first build alliances with the other gangs so he can have a crack at Tomao Serizawa, the big man on campus. The film is reason enough for Western fans of the Japanese medium, such as anime, manga, and video games to rejoice and I am pretty sure fans of the comic won’t have reason to complain either. For its male target audience, it is sure to be a hit. Also, if you watch this film and enjoy it there is also a sequel out in the works which I will cover in the coming weeks.